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A Texas lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make it easier for nurses who acquire COVID-19 to obtain workers compensation benefits.
Democratic Rep. Joseph Moody on Thursday prefiled H.B. 396, which would create a presumption that nurses who acquired COVID-19 on or after Feb. 1, 2020, resulting in a disability or death, are presumed to have contracted the virus in the course and scope of their employment. Eligible nurses are those who treated patients with COVID-19 or have performed duties that required them to come into contact with patients with the virus.
The legislation also states that nurses who filed a claim for workers compensation benefits related to COVID-19 on or after Feb. 1 but had the claim denied may file another claim.
Texas Democratic Rep. Terry Meza also prefiled a bill Thursday that would create a cost-of-living increase for workers compensation death benefits. H.B. 243 would require the state’s insurance commissioner to set a rate of adjustment by Nov. 1 of each calendar year equal to the percentage increase in the consumer price index for urban wage earners published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If signed into law, the bills would take effect Sept. 1, 2021.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.